Saturday, December 09, 2006

Chapter 20 - The Future of the NHS

This is a summary of chapter 20 - the future of nursing. This chapter was written by Jane Naish (a policy adviser at the RCN with a background in nursing, sociology and health policy) and Ms Sylvia Denton, President of the Royal College of Nursing who has recently retired from her post as lead nurse/Senior Clinical Nurse Specialist in breast care. Sylvia was awarded the CBE in the New Years Honours List in 2006 for services to health care.

In this chapter they examine the future for nursing and review the key principles for the development of nursing. They highlight the serious shortages in almost all categories of health care workers and recognise that the low numbers of registered nurses is becoming a significant problem, because of:

· Difficulties regarding nursing recruitment and retention.
· Overall nurse shortages, critically compounded by an ageing nurse population.
· Predictions that more nurses will leave the nursing register than will join in the future.

They warn that any future nursing strategy needs to recognise that registered nurses will not be able to personally deliver all the nursing care needed and will have to rely on teamwork, and to extend their expertise to others in the caring profession. They discuss that nursing and nursing teams will have to become far more integrated across the different care settings span both community and hospital settings.

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